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Us 27, Washington 18, America 13, United States 11, Greece 9, Mcpherson 8, California 8, Freddie 7, U.s. 6, Mr. Jarvis 6, Arkansas 5, D.c. 5, Obama 4, China 4, Houston 4, Mike Tanner 3, Newt Gingrich 3, Mitch Daniels 3, Sheila Jackson Lee 3, Fha 3,
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  CSPAN    Capital News Today    News/Business. News.  

    January 24, 2012
    11:00 - 2:00am EST  

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response to the financial crisis should be implemented. there is a big push to rule backed by the republicans and he made it very clear that he would not allow that to happen. the certainly the honest hard-working citizens in new york on wall street and everywhere else want regulation to crack down on abusive practices come on nanterre practices and highly leveraged risky practices. but the specifics were not there and there were a number of things he wasn't really specific about to begin he talked about a new trade enforcement unit. he talked about a new enforcement unit working on the housing crisis. he talked about new ways of looking at the problems that are still there and how we might address them. >> what issues do you work particularly closely with republicans on? >> well we need to work on more
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of them. usually financial services was a very unifying committee because what is more important than the safety and soundness of our country cracks in many cases one of my bills, the bill of rights was a jury strong bipartisan effort. i now have a bill that i hope to get a lot of republican support to get microloans out to entrepreneurs starting new business is another way to help with creation of jobs. also with the women's caucus there is bipartisan effort on many of the family and work policy balancing family and work, cracking down on sex trafficking or abusive practices, and there are not inferior as we work together. we have to work together with more of them. we try to stick with a republican for the state of the union, and i was sitting with louis dimare from texas and i for one controlled he's opposed to it, i'm for choice, he's pro-life, and so we are sort of the odd couple on where we
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stand, but we agree to be agreeable and to look for some areas we can work together. >> are you friends personally? >> yes i am furious and carolyn maloney, democrat of new york talking to us about the end -- this the that the union the president just gave to the estimate by the that the 26 of us gave our tickets to veterans and i gave one to a returning veteran from afghanistan who spent 16 months there, a west point graduate, so the emphasis on the fact that our men and women are coming back from iraq and they are such an important part of the strength of the country is a good thing. >> representative maloney, and now another member of the new york delegation is joining us and this is representative dr. he worked if i correct your and my doctor, connect? >> i'm an ophthalmologist, and on a surgeon, yes. >> freshman?
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first seed of the union a second? >> second. >> and? >> the president certainly has some inspiring thoughts for us and the key thing is the mechanisms by which we reached the dreams we all share. for example, we all want to see our industries revised from a manufacturing, or businesses, the mechanism that the president has proposed, although part of it was the trade agreement that we passed with for both parties and that was a great thing for their international outreach. but to make the tax code more complicated with a system of new credits to and ways in which we again favorites among our economic sectors isn't the optimal way to do it. >> when the president talks about republicans and democrats and lack of consensus here in
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washington, is that fair and is that a fair criticism of republicans? >> i think the president himself does need to take his share of responsibilities for that atmosphere of division. and i am one of the republicans who is actually going to go with the president believe it or not from within our republican congressional delegation. so i certainly want to reach out and work with of the president, but he knows very well that republicans reject pretty much categorically increasing taxes. succumb to propose that is a major means of reducing our deficit is something that's done unfortunately with the full knowledge of think because it's a very intelligent man. coming back to being the divisive i would love to see him take a very different approach in that way. >> what do you think of the president talking about the warren buffett will live to make a million dollars you should pay
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30% in taxes? >> i am an advocate for a flatter fairer tax code and i think that we will enjoy you the benefits of liberty and the benefits of growth when we let americans to work very hard and earn and save and invest to keep those dollars in our economy and not send them to the federal government. the federal government doesn't do nearly as well and the president quoted president clinton saying the federal government should only do what we cannot do, and i could not agree with him more which is why we should keep our tax rates low >> finally, congresswoman, where we stand when it comes to the payroll tax issue? will that passed the house of representatives? >> i am a member of the conference committee coming and yes, we will achieve -- i'm confident we will achieve the payroll tax of the extension and responsibly provide for the funds that go into the social
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security trust fund and we are committed to being paid to our retirees years on the line. >> congressman from new york, republican. as always, thank you. and again, we are to live here in statuary hall. just off the current house chamber. statuary hall you can see a lot of reporters, a lot of media and members of congress right now following the president's address. it is served as the house of representatives from 1808 to 1857 when the current house chamber was finished, and in fact five presidents were inaugurated in this wilentz pachauri whole and those president include james madison, james monroe, john quincy adams, millard fillmore and andrew jackson. he was also inaugurated here. and now joining is freshman senator from arkansas, john
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boozman, senate republican. >> just showing off with all of your knowledge. i'm impressed. [laughter] very good. you guys are working hard to read some of you tell us what you thought of the president's speech and first of all, who did use it? a lot of the senators sat with members of the of the party. >> well, i actually sat with a member of the house, john mica on one side, chairman of the transportation committee and then on the eda side was the nebraska delegation. so it was kind all of those guys. >> what did you hear from the president that you agreed with? >> the part i agree with -- he talked about was actually coming together and doing some things, and sure there's probably 80% of all of this stuff that both sides and the independence, democrats, republicans agree with, and if we can just established that, get that done did some things done it would be a big step in the right direction. >> speaker boehner have somebody from arkansas in his book tonight, a manufacturer.
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do you -- that were to have worked on the xl pipeline to disconnect yes. one of the things the president said that i agree with that he was and all of the above meaning that we needed to use all of the forms of energy. but the reality is he talked about natural gas and some of these other things that we are an oil dependent economy right now. and so, you know, that his rhetoric really hasn't played out. he disapproved the keystone pipeline. that would be -- that would be a big plus to the people of america. the specifically the arkansas since a lot of that pipeline will be manufactured in little rock and then a lot of the steel, so you are really talking about tens of thousands of jobs throughout the country. and we also talk about, you know, the separation. the rich are growing richer and those kind things. these are good middle class jobs. >> senator boozman is also
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dr. boozman. another on a doctor. spec well, yeah. i would rather you introduce me as an optometrist. that is one of the most respected provisions in america as opposed to a senator. i think that all were approval rating now is about 8%. it's kind of like senator colburn says, you wonder about the 8% think we are doing a good job to the estimate senator bozeman, republican of arkansas. thank you for being with us. >> and we've got one more interview at least, two more interviews that we are going to do this evening here from statuary hall. we are going to get a different perspective in just a second the maryland governor martin o'malley. he is a democrat and he's also the chairman of the democratic governors' association. he was here listening to the president's speech tonight, and we want to get a governor's perspective on what the president have to say. when you think of your state of maryland, what did the president
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have to say that you agreed with that would benefit your state? >> i thought the president's focus on jobs, job creation and making the right choice is to get our people back to work is really what every state is all about right now. and the bottom line is we can't make progress on less more of our people return to work. what we have seen because of the president's choices and many instances in our own state we see gm hiring again making the next generation of electric vehicles to really see trade increasing out of the port of baltimore which is creating jobs as we sell more and more american products abroad, and our schools, thanks in part to the president's health or actually raising standards. our graduation rates are rising and the president challenged all of us to do more. i think all of us as citizens and he challenged congress and i think he challenged the states to raise their mandatory age for high school so that no child can drop out unless they achieve a
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high school degree before the age of 183 >> governor, and of all this is only 50 miles from where we stand now. so you may have a different perspective on the partisanship in washington. but, could you compare it to annapolis and what you see here and how that affects you as a governor? >> i think the whole country is going through a period of colorization and what i like about the president's very strong and fearlessness it tonight is he reminded all of us that the greatness of our country wasn't built by any one person was built by all of us working together. and that is the effect that we have tried to restore a indianapolis, and we have been more successful than not in improving our schools and making the right investments and actually last month driving our unemployment rate down to 6.7%. we still haven't recovered everything we lost in the push recession, but we are creating jobs again and we are moving ahead quicker than we otherwise would have. were it not for the president's
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leadership and the good decisions that he has helped us meet again. >> you are currently in our second term. are you term limited and if so, what's next? >> ibm term limited. i don't know what is next but we have a big session ahead of the same analysts. we have a lot of important decisions to make about the investments that we may and transportation infrastructure about the investments that we make in our children's education, not only balancing our budget but also moving forward at the same time. so that is going to keep me plenty busy. >> governor martin o'malley is a democrat from maryland and he's a democratic governor there and the head of the democratic governors association. thank you. >> and now joining us from ohio, a republican is representative bill johnson. congressman johnson, if you will start, tell us where your district is. tell us about your district. >> you bet. my district runs all over the
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ohio river from youngstown ohio to about an hour outside of cincinnati. it takes six and half hours to drive it from one end of the other come and we love it. that's appellation ohio. >> how would you describe the economic condition of your district? >> we have some of the highest unemployment in the nation. the people in my district are hurting and the economic policies of this president have put them in that situation. i mean, if you look at the price of gasoline, we are paying twice as much at the pump and we were when he was inaugurated. when you look in utility rates we are paying on the average $300 more per month than when he came into office, and she had an opportunity tonight to put us on a different track and he decided not to do that. it's another of civil how this president's factions and his words don't match. he talked about a dysfunctional
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senate. he had an opportunity to tell this senate to come back to work and pass a budget. remember it's been a thousand days since the senate of the united states passed a budget. he had an opportunity to tell the senate if he really wants to create jobs to take up the dirty jobs bills the house republicans have already sent to the senate and get to work on those. he talked about and all of the above energy policy and get that comes on the tail of just a week ago when he rejected the keystone exfil pipeline that would have created 20,000 immediate jobs and 100,000 jobs down the line. we are talking about natural gas, we are talking about oil and get his department of interior have got a war going on on those fossil fuel technologies. so, you know, it's very frustrating. we can't figure out which barack obama is going to show up on any given day because his words and actions simply don't match.
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>> your state is going to be one of the focuses of the 2012 election as always. what are you looking for? >> the people in ohio pay very close attention to what's going on not only within our state but nationally. they know the voice, they know the reputation that ohio has for being a central figure and presidential elections and you better believe that the people that i represent are watching very very closely, and they are not happy with this president's performance. >> what you did -- mardy freshman, correct? what do you think washington can do to help your district? >> welcome a first of all, washington mostly needs to simply get out of the way. we've got a federal government that has outgrown its ability to discipline itself. i supported a balanced budget amendment. washington can't seem to get through their heads the they've
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got to learn to live within their means. overregulation to reregulation has cost our economy about $1.5 trillion a year. last year this administration put $100 billion worth of new regulation into place. every time you turn around the epa and the department of the interior is reaching further and further into the pocketbooks of the small business owners that i represent to get so washington needs to get out of the way and learn to live within its means to read the macdill johnson is a republican from ohio. he's been talking with us here in statuary hall. thank you, congressman. >> and we are going to continue our coverage. and we are pleased to be joined by a frequent visitor to c-span and somebody who often speaks on the house floor and that is congresswoman sheila jackson lee coming and she has either to strutting bodyguards or some guests. who is your guest?
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>> i was privileged to have the gentleman as a guest tonight at the state of the union sergeant williams, who has had several tours in iraq, and captain lewis, who you wouldn't imagine that he has been in the united states military for ten years and served at ellington base in houston and so does sergeant williams to the i'm delighted to have them this evening. >> gentlemen, welcome to washington and the state of the union. why did you invite them? >> i think it's very important to continue our theme of saying things you. and i initiated a few weeks ago before we left town the yellow ribbon campaign to wear yellow ribbons to say things you to all of our returning soldiers. we've got quite a big effort going on in houston. we did an effort on the floor of the united states congress on december 15th, so i wanted to make sure that the troops knew that we appreciate them to i think the president said
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tonight, and we appreciate our volunteer military, thank them and indicated that our democracy and freedom certainly is because we have young men and women willing to serve in the united states military to respect now, gentlemen, your congressman here, sheila jackson lee often has one of the better seats in the house chamber and has a chance to shake the president's hand. did you get that same chance? >> i didn't get the opportunity this time it was a great experience to come out and attend this event with her. >> maybe next time. [laughter] >> but they had a good spot themselves. i understand they were seen quite frequently. >> well, congresswoman, let's look at the energy issue the president focused on. houston is your home. do you disagree with some of the things the president said about the industry? >> i think the president struck a good balance. i think that his position has to be further explained, and i think it's important to note that he indicated that he is
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encouraging his administration the secretary of interior to increase the exploration for 75%. he indicated he wanted to see an integrated energy policy that would include all facets of energy. that's good for houston. he talked up the environment and i think that is enormously important. many of my colleagues have misconstrued the decision on the keystone pipeline. the president said he could not and would not make a decision in 60 days. he didn't say he would never make a decision, and ultimately believe that is a decision that has to be made we will see that going forward on the environmental issues. that is important to be on the issue of taxation we need to sit down at the table and find the best way to share the burden of taxation as it relates to subsidies for the energy industry so that it is balanced and the president can do what america wants the country to do, invest in manufacturing, train new employees and have if you
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will a unified energy policy, so i saw an olive branch incentive by the president and i want my friends in the energy industry to reciprocate. let's sit down and find out how we can establish equality for america. >> we will ask you your opinion on the xl pipeline that very quickly, name and home town? >> leonard williams, houston texas. >> baton rouge louisianan. >> again, welcome. conagra's common sheila jackson lee joining us here in statuary hall. and now another westerner is going to be joining us here in the second, and that is congressman trent franks, republican of arizona. he's working his way over here as we speak. we are going to lose him here in just a second. grab him by the arm and grabbed the that could drag him over. there you go. we will get him over to be in the meantime we want to show what this looks like. it's emptying out a little bit
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now. a lot of the members of congress have already spoken to the media and a lot of the media are breaking down but you're still a year and we have a republican now from arizona, trent frank. if we could, let's start by talking about your colleague, gabrielle giffords. did you get a chance to talk to her tonight? she was sitting between two members to estimate a didn't crocker tonight. she and i have had the chance to talk earlier, and i just think it was the highlight of the evening. you know, she is going to be messed around here. she is someone that has demonstrated kind face. and just a willingness to fight back to the extent that she is transcended her life, one of the greatest tragedies i suppose one could ever face but she is such a living example of police and kindness and how thankful and grateful we should all be that she came. >> congressman frank, what did
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you think of the president's speech and where do you agree with him? >> i agreed when he quoted abraham lincoln and when he said the government should only do for people what they cannot do for themselves, but it's so hard for me without sounding terribly partisan to express my reaction to that because it's so completely disconnected from his policies and from his stated perspective and certainly from his performance in the office. it's a little like elmer farda saying we shouldn't shoot rockets. it's just completely another call to his known philosophy. >> when he criticizes republicans and democrats for partisanship was a fair criticism do you think and do you, your republican party the same way? >> i think there is a lot of partisanship and i wish that our focus was trying to do those things that were based on the truth and that were committed to
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making the country better. i really do, and it's easy for the other side to try to pick out the areas where we've seen a objectively partisan and it's easy for us to try to do the same thing so all i can do is try to say, you know, when he talks -- i didn't hear him talk about a jobs tonight really what he would do coming and we have over 40 jobs bills that the house republicans have passed and sent over to the senate and they just refuse to vote on them and i don't know how i can be just called partisan for thinking that that's not a good thing. that's not cooperation, that's not working together when our votes -- when we pass these jobs bills and they don't even vote on them. i don't know what else we can do. we've got a president -- i should say the majority leader of the senate that simply will not to get house bills, and in the white house we have a bystander that will help us see a vote on those things.
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and then it's all partisanship. >> congressman, what about the payroll tax issue. will that be resolved? >> i think it will. there's no doubt about that seems to be a consensus that will take place and so i don't know that there is a whole lot to be, you know, a whole lot of discussion that can take place. i think will happen to the hispanic trent franks, republican of arizona talking with us calling the president's state of the union speech. estimate that me tell you something from this guy is living proof that there are good democrats in the world. and i mean that. he's my man. >> we are going to talk to him next and see if he says the need -- the same thing out you. >> brad sherman is a democrat of california, and we are going to put you in place and ask you what is -- what got you going about the president's speech? >> well and number of things.
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his dedication to jobs, his focus on fairness and the middle class and then one thing that probably nobody else has mentioned is the attack on the filibuster. this place is dysfunctional already. if you have to get 50% of the vote in each house controlled by of the parties. but the to think one senator can put a hold on the nomination were that it takes a 60% vote to move anything in the senate, it may thought to be presumptuous for someone outside of the senate to talk about the rules, but the rules were screwing up the whole country. >> what changes would you like to see in the house? >> frankly i would just like to change who rules the house. >> welcome your next big political battle is the primary culprit, and it is an interparty contest between the two sitting congressman. you know, we don't have
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primaries in california anymore. we have the new washington or louisianan system in which the top two candidates from whatever party go on from the first election to the second, so in the first election everybody gets the same ballot and in the second deflections everybody gets about two candidates. it sounds unusual but that is how we endorse and elect county supervisors, city council members and in those parts of the country now that is how we yvette congressman in california. >> when will that primary take place in june? >> the first tuesday in june and then the runoff in november, and most people are predicting that he will have two democratic congressmen on the ballot in november. >> what issues do you work with -- or just chatting with congressman franks, republican of arizona what issues do you work with republicans on? >> well, i work with a wide variety of republicans on different issues.
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i work with ed rice on both foreign policy and on financial services, gary miller and i have been allies for years dealing with the conforming loan limits and making sure that you can get financing in california for middle class families who are buying homes with higher price tags than what you see in most of the country, and then trent and i are working on iran along with of course senator mark kirk who is in our previous now, so i work with a variety of republicans on a variety of issues. >> brad sherman is a democrat of california joining us commenting on the president's speech. and congressman gingrey is a republican from georgia and he
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is our last interview this evening. congressman, you get to the 11:00 number as they say. tell us what you thought the president. >> well, you know, the president gave a political speech tonight. i was a little disappointed. there were some things i was pleased to hear to be fair and balanced in regard to teachers and having the capability of rewarding good teachers, pay for performance if you will, and making it a little bit more feasible to get rid of that teachers, but then he went on in regards to education kind of shocked me when he said from the federal government we are going to dictate that every child stay in school until age 18 or until they get a degree, whatever happens first. but what if a youngster is at age 17 and decides they want to go into the military and be part
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of that and with their parents' permission they can do that? again, it's all this business of the government control and takeover just liked forcing individuals unconstitutionally to purchase health insurance and obamacare. the president talked about energy and wanting to -- the all of the above approach and certainly got a bipartisan applause standing ovation in regard to that. but then he goes right back and talks about all the studies we need in regard to hydraulic fracturing to get that natural gas out of the ground. he acts like what he did in regard to keystone xl is part of the all of the above approach. but what he does is shipped off to china and talks about competing with china. that is a little disingenuous. we had 20,000 direct jobs in regard to keystone xl, 100,000 indirect jobs.
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so again, the ninth thing that bothered me too as for him to say that, i'm going to go forward and do things with congress or without. and we see some of that in his long recess recess appointments in regards to the national labor relations board and regard to corporate consumer financial protection agency and something that probably should be a committee not one person that's had been within the department of treasury or at federal reserve if congress has no reach over. so i just see that this president did not take responsibility for the unemployment rate of 8% which is persistent, but 36 months. ..
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>> he talked about what we need to do in regard to medicare and social security, but only if we're willing to raise taxes on the job creators. there should be no caveats in regard to fixing medicare and social security. we can do that this year in a bipartisan way. >> one political question, congressman, fellow georgian, newt gingrich wants to take on the president. >> well, he certainly does, and i'm supportive of the speaker. when people talk about who can do the job, who is still the most electable, you know, none of them are perfect. newt certainly has baggage and his opponents bring that out, and quite honestly, though, i
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think a good comeback for him is, you know, a less than perfect suit, a lot better than an empty suit with regard to running the country. i think newt gingrich is very electable. he has spent a lot of time in congress working within congress and second in line to the president for four years. i think he's a man for the job, but whoever it is, i can assure you that this member is going to get behind 110% because we need a new president. >> phil gingrey, republican member of georgia from the house of representatives. thank you. >> thank you so much. [inaudible conversations] >> we're going to wrap up our live coverage tonight here in the hall.
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president obama delivering his third state of the union speech tonight. you can see the speech right now on c-span. one who attended the speech tonight, representative, gabrielle gifford, will be recognizedded on the house floor tomorrow handing in her resignation from congress. the arizona congresswoman is recovering from a gunshot wound. >> a panel discussion on the libertarian position of the union. the cato institute held this hour long event today before the
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president's address to the nation. [inaudible conversations] >> hi, everybody. we're going to go ahead and get started while you're finding your seats and getting lunch. thanks so much for coming, everyone. today, we're going to be discussing the libertarian state of the union. we have a great panel of speaker, and i'll briefly introduce them and hand it over. first is mike tanner, a research fellow researching policies with a emphasis on health care reform, social welfare, and social security. prior to cato he was legislative directer of the legislative exchange counsel. under his direction, cato launched the social security choice, considered for transforming the bankrupt system into a savings program.
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following that is daniel mitchell, and he was a senior fellow at the heritage foundation, and economist for the senate finance committee and serve the on the 1988 bush team and was directer of tax and budget policy for citizens for a sound economy. third will be ill lya shapiro. he was a special assistant and adviser to the multinational force in iraq on rule of law issues and practiced and lectures on behalf of the federal society and adjunct professor at gw law school. before joining private practice, he practiced at the u.s. court of appeals. wrapping things up is mark calabria and spent six years on the senate committee in banking
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and urban affairs and was the deputy assistant secretary at the department for housing and urban development holding a variety of positions with national association of realtors and builders. with that, i'll turn it over to mike tanner. >> thank you very much. i appreciate you're coming outment tonight, of course, you'll hear the president's campaign speech. i mean, the state of the union address, and we are here to present something a little bit different than what you'll hear either in the president's speech or in the republican rebuttal following that. if i could sum up my view of the state of the union in two simple words, it would be we're broke. the fact is that once again this year we will spend more money than we have, borrowing about 40
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cents out of every dollar that we spend. we have just passed the $15 trillion mark in terms of on the book debt, but that debt takes into agent a small portion of the actual indebtedness that this country faces. if you want to look at the way debt a calculated, there are actually three types of debt that this country faces. the first and most wadely considered is debt held by the public. this is debt that the government owes people and institutions in the country or other countries. it's the bonds essentially that the government owes and people have them in their portfolios and china and japan holds them, and this is the on the books most real debt if you will. it's probably about $11 trillion
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roughly at this point. there's a second type of debt that goes into the public debt, and this is called intergovernmental debt. this is debt in essence that the government owes itself or owns to various trust fends and entities. there's over a hundred, and the most commonly talked about are social security trust fund and the medicare trust fund, the highway trust fund, a special trust fund for the gulf oil spill, and there's all sorts of these thing, and there's another $4 trillion that the government owes various trust funds. now, that is, in some ways, a little softer than debt held by the public, but ultimately, it has to be repaid, and therefore, it's a very real debt that the government will ultimately have to come up with money in which to pay, and you add up $4 trillion to the $111 --
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$11 trillion to the rest and you have about $15 billion. there's other debt as well or unfunded obligations that government owes to programs such as medicare and social security going forward. we are able to look at these programs, and we know roughly what they have to spend in the future under current law that is assuming we pay benefits as promised to do under current law, we know how much those cost, and we're able to project going forward how much revenue is expected to come in from the taxes that theoretically support the programs. the payroll tax and so forth, and we're able, therefore, to make a projection of the short fall in terms of what we projected in terms of spending and what we intend 20 take in in terms of revenue. the short fall in the programs adds up to, oh, $100 trillion to
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$105 trillion. that's trillion with a "t." meaning the total unfunded obligations is somewhere in access of $120 trillion. as i said earlier, we're broke. now, just to put this into perspective, there's a couple slides here, and unfortunately, it will be hard to read these because of the lighting in the room, but if you want to look at the second bar over there -- this is the unfunded obligations of various countries, the total indebtedness done as a percentage of gross domestic product in the countries. the second tallest bar from the left, that is greece. we all know that greece is in trouble. you can't pick up a newspaper these days without reading about the greek crisis and how the eurozone bails out greece, and
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you're right. dwrees is over 800% of the growth domestic product they own, and they oh 8.5% of the value of everything produced in the country a year. when you owe eight times your salary, put it like that, like your credit card debt is eight times your salary, you got a problem. the third from the left is in the were reasonable range, a little over 500%, that's france. the e.u. welfare state there, france owes about five times their gdp in terms of unfunded obligations going forward. you can see almost all of europe is more than double their gdp in terms of debt. europe's got real problems going forward. you'll notice the one country i didn't mention was the last number there on the far right, the tallest bar there, that's
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the united states. we owe 900% of gdp in terms of unfunded obligations. nine times the value of everything produced in the country. our unfunded obligations in the country are now higher than any of the european countries including that of greece. clearly, we're broke. one other point i want to make is that for all the attention that debt is getting and the deficits and unfunded obligations and the terrible number i gave you, the reality is that debt is merely a symptom of the disease. debt is not the disease itself. it is a symptom of the size of government. this is a projection from the congressional budget office of the growth in government. traditionally, the federal government's spend 21% of gdp,
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taking in 18% in taxes, which is why we have a deficit, taxes because of the recession and tax cuts and other things are down now, but government is now about 25% of gdp in terms of federal spending. throw in state and local spending on top of that, we're about 35% of gdp that's being spent by government at all levels. going forward, it's projected that we will be over 60% of gdp by the middle of the century. government at all levels spend 60 cents of every dollar produced in the country. whether that's financed through higher taxes or debt, that's an unsustainable level of government spending, and you're unlikely to hear anything in either of the state of the union or the republican response tonight that is going to seriously impact this projected
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growth in government, and just to show you where that leaves us, this is size of government today and e.u. countries, and, again, you can find that in moist of the countries, the government hovers around 50% of gdp, government spending at all levels. the number of -- the bar on the far right over there is where the united states will be in 2050. we will be -- so we would have a larger government in 2050 than any e.u. country has today. we would be a bigger welfare state than france or greece or italy or spain and so forth. we are clearly growing government at an unsustainable level. now, i know that one of the things you'll hear tonight is that we can solve all of this if all we do is raise taxes on the rich.
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dan mitchell will talk about that in a minute and why that's not going to work, but i have a slide to show you. this is a slide to illustrate the dark bar there on the far right is the total up funded liabilities we're facing for the various programs that i mentioned. the sprieped bar there is debt held by the public and intergovernmental debt. stack one on top of the other, and you'll get the actual debt of a little over 900%. the gray bar on the far left is the wealth of every millionaire and billionaire in america. if you went out and con -- took every penny owned by every millionaire and billionaire, you would not make a dent in what this country owns leaving aside
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you couldn't do it a second time and the fact that you would have a slight impact on our economy if you did that. you wouldn't make a dent in the debt. something like the buffet rule, which is supposed to get you $16 billion over the next ten years is not going to solve the debt problem. basic story is state of the union is broke and we can't tax our way out of it. dan mitchell will fill you in more now with that taxing issue. >> well, thank you, michael. in the gallery, in the president's box or whatever you call it, sitting with michelle obama will be warren buffet's secretary according to news reports, and that gives us an idea of what type of rhetoric we could expect tonight in terms of tax policy. i think it's class warfare all the time at full speed. what i want to do is talk a little bit about some of the tax
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issues and define, you know, what is good tax policy and measure that against what the president is doing, but i suppose before i start on that, let me get out one little fact that i think is critical that you won't hear from the president, and i doubt republicans will be competent enough to bring it up themselves. at least based on the cbo numbers from last year, and i don't think they are too different coming out with the new numbers this year, according to the congressional budget office numbers, we could balance the budget by the year 2021 if we simply limited the growth of government spending to 2% a year. in other words, if you look at these so-called baselines as described in washington, the revenue baseline, and this, by the way, is the west virginia power point slide, the revenue baseline -- hope there's no staff from west virginia in here. it's a joke. we can say it's arkansas. [laughter] revenues increase by 6% or 7% a
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yearment maybe cbo is wrong and overestimating or underestimating. it's a con consensus forecast. revenues at 6% a year and spend and grow by less than that, by definition, you lower red ink, and according to the cbo numbers last year, if you limited the growth to 2% a year of spending, you solve the entire problem of red ink, and, of course, as mike, plained, red ink is not the problem. it's the symptom of the problem. the problem is big government. there's two things at the same time by controlling the growth of government spending, but what is obama going to do on tax policy? this chart right here, which you can't read because it's too far away, it shows the impact of double taxation, and this chart is important for those of you who watched the republican debate last night, newt gingrich and mitt romney figging about what the fax rates should be. this green box is your income
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that you earn. then you have a blue box, pay tax on the income, up to 35%. what's left is another green box, the after tax income. what can you do with the after tax income? you can either spend after tax income right away, or you can save and invest your after tax income so you can spend it in the future. on the left side of the screen, you see what happens if you spend your after tax income right away. the federal government by and large leaves you alone. yes, there's an excise tax on gasoline and others like that, but if you spend your after tax income right away, the federal government does not molest you. what happens if you save and invest your after tax income? what happens if you do what every single theory, socialism and marxism, every theory of economics says you have to have capital formation saving in investment for higher living standards in the future. if you save and invest your
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after tax income, the federal government between the corporate income tax, the capital gains tax, the double tax on diff deppedz and the death tax subjects you to four different layers of taxation. now, why does this matter for the state of the union? because the president wants almost all of those taxes to go up. he wants increased double taxation on dividends, increased taxes on capital gain, already restored the death tax, and what we're doing with the tax code is punishing the very behavior that you need for economic growth in the country, but it's not just bad tax policy with high tax rates saved and invested. in is a chart showing the number of additional provisions added to the tax code on a year-to-year basis. you can see that every single time congress meets, the problem gets worse, and i'm not just saying it's congress' fault.
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obviously the tax loopholes and shelters are there as a result of presidents asking for hem, but this here is from the congress clearinghouse showing the number of pages in the tax law that the very top is when the tax code first began, and at the bottom, it's where we are now. 72,000 pages. in hong kong, they had a flat tax for 60 years. even after 60 years, the entire tax code, the last count i saw, was 157 pages. 157 versus 72,000. i gave a speech a couple years ago. they have a flat tack. i gave the example of the tax forms in the u.s. stacked up, and a professor said, oh, here's our tax code and pulled off the shelf what looked to be a magazine. i said, wow, your entire income tax is the size of a magazine? she said, no, no, this is our
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entire tax code, excise taxes, so on and so forth, opened it up, it was 20 pages -- this is our income tax. you can have a simple and fair and non-corrupt tax system, but not when you have politicians, and i fully expect obama will want to make the problem worse tonight, who use the tax code as a tool of social engineering as a tool of industrial policy and a weapon to reward friends, punish enemies and garner campaign contributions. that's not what we want if we want a better and more competitive system. i want to make one last point. maybe more than one last point, but one last big point. when the president says he wants higher taxes on the rich, what he really wants is higher tax rates on the rich, but higher tax rates are not necessarily the same thing as higher revenue, and this is the curve, but i'll skip forward and show you some data.
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this is data i that took from the statistics of income published by the irs every year. in 1980, according to the irs statistics of income, we had about 117,000 rich people in america defined by $200,000 or more a year. they reported $36 billion to the irs and they got $19 million. this is the tax system that some people want to move america back towards. a 70% tax rate and the government got $19 billion of tax revenue. by 1988, reagan had reduced the top tax rate down to 28%. what happened to revenue from the rich? did it fall sort of proportionally down to about $8 billion or something? i don't know. i'm not good at math. did it fall to just $15 billion? did it stay the same in was this
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is tax cut that paid for itself? what happened to revenue from the rich? what do you know, in 1988, we are 724,000 rich people almost, i think that's a good thing. we want more rich people. i hope to be one one day, those rich people reported $353 billion of income to the irs and the government got $99.7 billion. in other words, when tax rates fell from 70% down to 28%, the government got five times as much revenue. that's not just a curve, but that's the lapper curve on steroids breaking into mark's locker room in the gym to get that much additional revenue. now, let me be fair and give you some caveats. we have 40% plus inflation in this period. we had 7% population growth. there were other pro-market economic reforms and going back to the end of the carter years
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with transportation deregulation, so we have no idea whether cutting tax rates caused revenues to increase by two times, three times, four times, we don't know. ask nine economist, and you get nine opinions, but there's no question that when you try to tax the rich, taxable income is going to fall from the rich, and the government will have a hard time collecting as much revenue. now, maybe in the short run they can, but in the long run, it's people adapting their behavior, it's not going to work, and that's why the class warfare approach is unsuccessful. let me make a final point about the value added tax. mike gave you horrifying numbers for the growth of the welfare state with the expanding burden of government in america. the only way that will be possible, the only way we become another greece is if somehow congress makes the mistake of giving the president a new source of revenue, and the only big source of revenue that
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actually would work would be a vat. a vat is a european form of a national sales tax, but it's hidden in the price of goods. even the "washington post," sort of a company paper of big government in town, even the "washington post" understands this is not a good idea. this cartoon shows uncle sam 408ing a vat tax call drone watching europe, portugal, and greece go over the water fall of fiscal destruction. why on earth do we want to copy the fiscal policy of nations in the middle of going bankrupt and di sint grating? we are already heading that way which is why we have to reform. why make it possible for politicians to keep those programs in place and give them a vat? that would be a big mistake. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> good afternoon. thanks for having me. thanks for coming out. unlike my colleagues, i do not have a power point. in fact, i think powerpoints are unconstitutional. [laughter] among the very many things that are going on, but i kind of feel like we're coming to the end of the empire strigs back. you know, it's always darkest before the dawn or until it gets pitch black i suppose, but i'd like to think of myself as an optimist. the constitution is in the news now, in public discourse unlike it's been in decades. that's, of course, good for those of us who make a living talking about the constitution and current affairs, but i think it's a healthy development for the republic as a whole because people are not just saying i disagree with that policy or talk about the economic costs and benefits of something that the president or congress proposes. they say where does the
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government have the power to do that? that's a healthy response, one that, i think, all members of congress and all citizens need to remember and go back to, certainly, this congress, at least the house, took a small, you know, mostly symbolic, but a step with the constitutional authority statements. if these things put in at the beginning of last year even gave one member pause over one piece of legislation that he or she was going to introduce because they didn't know where in the constitution he or she had the power to do that, then it's worth the implementation. we've come a long way since when you remember nancy pelosi was asked where the government had the power to require people to buy health insurance, and she said, are you serious? because, of course, the constitution is the last refuge of the scoundrel that has no good policy arguments to make. indeed, obamacare, as we've seen, has not gone away.
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you know, you know, i can't claim to have read it all. i think mike tanner is the only person in the entire country to have read it, and he told me once he had a drink or two and skimmed the indian law parts of it, but anyhow, we now have collectively read it and now collectively more or less understood it, and it makes even less economic sense and disturbingly it's more unconstitutional than we feared. the cases before the supreme court that will be argued at the end of march to be decided by june are only the tip of the iceberg. obviously, the individual mandate is the biggest problem, and it's the lynch pin holding it together. sure, you can have a free standing, you know, tax on indoor tanning services and reform, waste and fraud accounting provisions with medicare. you can put those in, but that was not the purpose of the legislation. the purpose of the legislation was to fundamentally reform health care as we know it. to paraphrase joe biden, it was a big deal; right?
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[laughter] that mandate is unprecedented, not in the sense of reforming health care, but in the sense of the government not even in the depths of the new deal or great society or the war that ever required people to buy something. this is just -- if the government can do this, there's no principled limits on federal power, and the, you know, we'll see what the government's lawyers have to say at the supreme court, but so far, the best is health care is unique, enlisting a lot of economic facts for how it's unique. we can have that policy discussion, but as a matter of constitutional law, that's not good enough. the next time they want to bail out the financial or auto industry, they say the new reform scheme works if we require people to buy something or do something else we think of as otherwise unconstitutional. the federal government requiring states to transform their medicaid, their health care bureaucracies, not at the cost of additional fun that obamacare
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is providing, but at the cost of all medicaid funds. the states are quite literally between a rock and a hard place, and this is coercive. if it's not a coercive use of the government's power, i don't know what s. there's a lot of other things. the death panel, the independent payment advisory board. there's something to that. there's unelected, unaccountable, free standing new bureaucracy that decides which procedures are going to be worth paying for, and therefore, for the person who can't otherwise afford them to get. there's waivers. arbitrary waivers, surprise, surprise. gourmet restaurants and other businesses in nancy pelosi's san fransisco district got waivers from obamacare and the whole state of nevada, but who is the senator from there? states like louisiana and indiana have been denied. there's a host of problems. again, it is a constitutional seminar.
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there's a host of liberty rule of law issues from the bailout of banks. today, a settlement was announced with lawsuits on how foreclosures and mortgage write downs work. there could be an executive order. weevil watch tonight, requiring banks to write down the bad mortgages, a subversion of creditor's rights. dodd-frank, if you like ox xley that cost the economy more than it saved, dodd-frank has those costs, but a host of separation of powers creating new agencies and bureaucracies at the 12345*9, the congress can't touch -- at the senate, and the congress can't touch it. and the consumer finance protection board is one of those agencies, and we can't get its leadership in a constitutional manner. these recessed appointments when there's no research. on the energy front, keystone xl, right, i won't argue environmental versus jobs. my colleagues handle that area,
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but on the face of the law, the president was not allowed to delay implementation of the project for the reason he gave saying there needs to be more environmental impact studies. by the last law addressing this in the compromise over the debt ceiling, congress put in it and the president signed saying it was not a reason, and yet, here he is with that. the federal government cited the government in contempt for implementing the moratorium on the drilling for no good reason. the government was cited for contempt by that court. oh, we think, okay, democrats are in power, civil liberties are at least doing well. we might not like the other things. well, the drug war has only intensified. the marijuana arrests are up. fast and furious; right? giving guns to drug lords, i mean i don't know what the theory was, but obviously we wouldn't have that without the drug war in the first place, and now, realm, you know, gabrielle
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gifford is resigning. i'd look for some aspect of a gun control message coming down tonight regardless of what the supreme court said about the second amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. religious liberty, immigration reform. when's the last time the president talked immigration; right? the great savior of minorities, imgrants, and the poor? how about just yesterday the supreme court unanimously, unanimously ruled against the government's position in how the police can surveil people by attaching gps tracking devices to their cars for a month to 24 hours 5 -- a day seeing everywhere they go, and the government knew they didn't have a warrant, but it was to see if they could do it in the first place. it's the majority that said this is ridiculous, you know, even under basic concepts of the government stress -- trespassing on the car, that
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great civil libertarian sam alito; right? the alternative view presented was, no, it's just reasonable expectations of privacy that were violated, not the search of the car, so we have that debate about exactly to what extent and how the government violenced our civil liberties. look, all roads lead to the constitution. we have to fight the cases, look at the legislation. those of you working for members of congress, make constitutional points of order and talk to dlsh talk about this with your con constituents. i'm optimistic. i think we can turn it around. we'll see what the court rules on obamacare with a whole host of big issues before the court this year, but, look, the constitution is in play. the law matters. it's not just a matter of with due republic to dan and make, dollars and cents, that matters, but if we get rid of the stuff
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that's illegal and unconstitutional, a lot of the bad dollars and crepts go away -- cents go away by themselves. thank you. [applause] >> well, if dan can invoke a west virginia-arkansas pourpoint, i'll use the italian pourpoint which is i'll speak very loudly with my hands and pound when i want to make a point. [laughter] we run the financial area and in a twist of the way this is a neat state of the union for me. i'm not used to banking, mortgage finance talked about in the state of the union, but it will be talked about, and you don't have to look at housing starts or foreclosures or those numbers. just look at a paper every day to see the housing market, our mortgage market pretty much sucks, and, again, the reason for that is a bigger issue on the economy that is two-fold. one, when there's less housing wealth, we feel poorer, spend less, reducing consumer spending.
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look at it in terms of anything that's going to determine this election, it's the labor market. 40% of the job losses during this downturn were a direct result of the housing markets, things like builders and realtors. from anybody's perspective, getting the housing market moving again is issue one. i expected the president to talk about the housing market, and i expect him to talk a lot about how do we want to do with the mortgage market, and, again, one of the options we'll hear is in the expansion for refinancing. it was talked about potential write downs that could come back and why that's important and what harm that would do, but i'll talk quickly about two fundamental problems with refinancing everybody's mortgage underwater, and underwater means you owe more on the mortgage than what the house is worth. first is, yes, i can write down the mortgage, you'd have more money, spend more, you'd be wealthier, but i'm doing that at
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someone else's expense. let's keep in mind a mortgage is one person's little, another person's asset. you make one person better off while making another person worse off, and, again, you know, despite the fact i think this administration and the last administration took the perspective that somehow the redistribution of wealth is the same as the creation of wealth, we should have learned over the last couple of years that transfer of payments, redistribution of wealth does not turn your economy around. again, this is not doing anything for the economy, but it will do something in terms of politics, because, again, one of the themes here tonight is fighting for the middle class while republicans defend bankers and defend the 1%, and, again, one of the things we're going to hear is a friend of the middle class is refinancing everybody's mortgage because you played right, played by the rules, it's not your fault housing prices went down, and, of course, the government has to underlie and guarantee the liability for you. you know, not only is it doing
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nothing for the economy because it's a transfer of wealth from one person to the other, but it does nothing for the housing market. if i refinance you into a lower rate and the mortgage you have, guess what? you're less likely to go out and buy another house. why? you have a cheaper rate. you would actually when you look at it and say i'm buying this house but my mortgage is 5% than 4%, you are less likely to move, reducing home sales in the future rather than increasing them. the way i think about it and the way you have to think about the housing market is we have a weak demand and excess supply. any policy that does not increase demand or reduce the supply of housing is simply a joke. it's a diversion. be very clear. what we've heard planned so far, what we were here tonight does very little in that regard on either front. again, it should be kept in mind, and anybody with economy 101 knows 23 there's excess supply with insufficient demand,
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there's only one way to cure that. let prices fall to clear the market. absolutely, there is no other way, and, again, maybe the positive is that despite the best efforts of this administration and the last administration, housing prices have fallen, over 30% nationally. i personally believe we are 90% threw the depreciation in the housing market, but we have dragged it out. we would have been far better off to take that 30% over six months rather than three years, and why is that? because my friends at the home builders continue to add to supply as long as we hold prices above construction costs had which is what we have done. other than working off the inventory we have, we subsidized the additional supply when we already are in a glut. this reflects a per perspectivem the white house that the problem is not the bursting of the problem, but we have to build a bridge to the next bubble, and that's the liking of it.
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i'll talk about it later with the federal reserve, but the attitude is that we have to replace one bubble with another to make us wealthier. that's not something that works in the long run. now, ideally, i'd love to hear the president talk tonight about the plan for ending freddie and fannie. that should be on the top and the other government subsidies for the mortgage market; however, i expect him to do a good job at talking about what more they can do while he fails to mention the $170 billion we have so far put into bailing out fannie and freddie. at the end of the day and according to the cbo and regulator, there's $300 billion to bail out freddie and fannie. we'll just hear that they would do more, and, again, as was mentioned, the write down eluded to, the regulator for freddie and fannie said if we did a write down, it would cost potentially another $100 billion.
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again, let's keep in mind this is a transfer from the taxpayer to borrowers who have mortgages over their head, and the worst part of this is it's regressive. home owners are wealthier than renters. why should renters subsidize home owners? they pretend to fight for the 99%, yet there's a plan that says let's take and give money to people who don't need it. there's nothing that hurts you because your mortgage is worth more than your house. anybody who has a car loan probably has a loan worth more than the value of the asset. that does not man tan a government bailout. that said, unfortunately, despite discussions we'll hear no talk about freddie and fannie bailout, in all likelihood, this will not be the only bailout. we'll probably, in my opinion, have the federal housing administration, fhament i think ultimately we would put another $50 billion in fha. keep in mind, i oppose t.a.r.p., bad things to do, but the losses
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on the t.a.r.p. were from the aig, and we got most of that money back. we'll not get the money back from freddie and fannie or fha. those are costs that will be hit and, again, we'll not recover them. they are not investments in the imagination, but just transfers. you know, it's one thing that's lost as well because one of the things we'll hear and what we constantly hear is a rhetoric against the banking industry. if you wanted to stick it to the banking industry, let's get rid of freddie and fannie and fha. they are ways for the banking industry to transfer credit risk to the taxpayer, and if you want to stake stick it to the banks, make them take the risks. that's what they are there for rather than us taking the hit every time the market goes south. as was mentioned in addition to refinancing, the question could be raised about reducing the principles. let's say your house, a 20% down on the mortgage and the value's declined 30%, so we'll give you a 10% write down to make the
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value of your house the value of your mortgage. i should say, i have nothing against and i greatly encourage lenders to voluntarily if they can work it out and it's in their interest, more power to them. that's free markets. coming to mutual benefit exchanges. a fourth right is difference. it's nothing other than theft. taking from the taxpayer or the investor, and keep in mind whatever we hear in the settlement today, whatever it looks like, it's often this picture of the banker being the investor. that's actually not the case. they are two separate entities. more often you see the banker come to the table and wink and nod and say i'll give you this money and up vesters here, pension funds, our retirement, that's what takes the hit. the banker walks away clean, we are hit on this, and, again, it's a transfer from taxpayers and up vesters, and why that should be the case has hardly been illustrated.
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again, i'll argue and see this repeated pretense that redistribution is wealth creation has actually harmed the economy rather than turned it around. i will also note as realm that the primary driver of default in the mortgage market, as it is in any credit market is because you're unemployed. istle -- i'll give you the example again, if you were a responsible home owner putting 20% down, but lost 10%, you're only 10% underwater. if you lost your job, that's doing nothing for you. in a sense is a pitching of benefits and subsidies, redrix of wealth to the vast middle class who don't need it. it's coming from their own pocket. i steal from your pension fund to lower your mortgage payment making you think you are better off in this case. again, nothing to be done in that regard that turning around the housing market. ultimately with the housing market depends on now is the labor market, and, again, things
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like obamacare made benefits -- it's interesting. if you look at benefits cost total compensation, ignore the inequality discussion on wages because if you include benefits, it's not the case. we increased the cost of hiring people over the last several years. no wonder there's less hiring going on because it's more expensive to hire people, and that's health care benefit, and so, again, if we make it easier to hire people, we would turn the labor market around turning the housing market around. the recent appointment to the protection bureau, and i think that recessed appointment was unconstitutional. i'm not a lawyer, but i read the constitution unlike others, but i don't expect the president to make the case for saying why it's constitutional but say the senate obligations instructed me from working my will and the will of the people. i'll note this is despite the fact that of all nominations submitted to the senate in 20111, 97% of those nominations were ultimately confirmed by the
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senate. this blocking of nominations is simply not correct. i encourage any of you go to thomas and look at the senate website. those numbers are the facts. the overwhelmingly vast nominations have been confirmed. it's not reason for the president to rip up the tewing. i think we'll hear about the implementation of dodd-frank. it's the juxtaposition of republicans remitting wall street and president obama says forget the fact that i'm holding hands with tim geithner and all the goldman people in the administration. i'm the one fighting for the middle class and taking on the banking industry. despite the feelings of dodd-frank, we'll hear defense of it because if you elect anyone else, you'll see the repeal of dodd frank and back to the wild days of banking deregulation which never happened and we won't deal with the causes of the financial crisis, but the other side of that is if republicans get the
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white house, the public, we all need to hold them accountable to twaim -- actually do and address the causes of the financial crisis. dodd-frank did not do it and repealing it while absolutely necessary is insufficient. we have to go forward. we need market discipline. to me, if you try to achieve one single thing with financial reform is you have to bring back market discipline on the part of creditors. they must believe their money is at risk, and the importance of this is that a properly freely functioning financial market, the price of borrowing acts as a break on the irresponsible, criminal, wreckless, or stupid, and that means when you have a management not knowing what they are doing, following a bad strategy, other participants raises the cost of borrowing to them and stops lending to them. they are the most important
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monitors we have. unfortunately, decades of government intervention severed this link. we say to creditors today don't worry. if you lend to a too big to fail institution, we'll bail you out. we've long done that for the depositors because they little to worry about. the difference is 90-plus percent of funding of institutions comes from creditors. we cannot rely on management in the board alone to monitor, and, of course, the government strategy has been yes we'll create more, protect creditors, but the government's coming in, and we're going to substitute. i think the repeated financial crisises we have had is good evidence that the regulators are not up to the task, not sufficient to substitute for regulation by creditors. i think we have replaced weak incentives which is, okay, if you're a bank regulator and the bank you regulate fails, okay, we'll transfer you. we won't fire you. that's too much to ask. we have weak incentives.
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one of the primary bank regulators in the crisis was the then president of the new york federal reserve, tim geithner, and he gets a promotion. it's perverse and weakened incentives replaced with a strong incentives that credits would have if you tell creditors that you invest and you don't p monitor, you take a hit. you take a loss. that's going to wake somebody up. again, we need to reimpose that market discipline on creditors to bring that monitor and bring real effective regulation, market regulation of behavior rather than the government regulation that we have that is incredibly failed every time. i should also mention that i think one of the largest sources of bailouts and our financial markets are the ones less transparent. yes, we've seen t.a.r.p. and these lending programs by the federal reserve, but even just as importantly, i would argue more distortionary, is every
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time the federal markets are in trouble, they flood it with liquidity, cheap money to drive up the value of the assets so you speculators in the financial markets are better off. it doesn't matter this pushes inflation to the rest of the economy. it's, again, a blender of last resort that is constantly there, and i think this is something that absolutely needs to be addressed. the fed tried to do the same thing for households. after the dot-com burst, the reaction was we are all poorer, $8 trillion after the stock market burst, so let's make a housing bubble. we have seen this repeatedly. we've seen it recently over the last several years where low interest rates pushed up the stock market and commodity prices. again, it's making people feel wealthier to spend more. it's not an economy where household wealth is based on
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fundamentals of investment and productivity. this constant manipulation of consumer spending via asset prices driven by monetary policy is incredibly dangerous leading to one bubble to another that is incredibly costly. it's distorted relative prices, invested in the wrong thing, and we reduced the efficiency of the economy which means we're poorer of it, not because we're wealthier. i don't expect -- on the other hand, credit to ron paul for making all republican no , ma'am tees talk about -- no , nominees talk about the fel reserve. if the president says anything, he'll pat ben bernanke on the back. we have to look at the value of the money and price stability and what to do in that regard and interim things to do whether it's moving the dual mandate,
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having inflation targeting, but ultimately, we cannot continue to believe that prosperity is brought to us by a series of asset bubbles. we have to have real growth in the country that is brought by real investment determined by real prices, real interest rates, and not distortions. i know that's a lot, and i look forward to your questions. thank you. bels -- [applause] >> great. we have time for questions and answers. i'll note you'll be sharing two microphones. mark gets his own. we don't have a microphone for questioners, so answer the question in a way that makes the question clear and the questioners make sure you ask questions. with that, go ahead, sir. >> [inaudible]
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>> the economy to be bailed out. i'm we're so big that nobody's going to bail us out and the fact that we're just a little bit greater in terms of personal of growth national product to the debt doesn't capture how bad things are. >> that's right. works both ways in terms of the size of the economy of greece relative to the u.s., and the fact we're a bigger economy makes us a better risk for people lending us money which is why we're still the currency and people are willing to lend us money at very low rates. that's what is keeping us going. the problem comes in down the road, china and others decide we're not a great risk anymore and interest rates approach anything near their historic levels. we're at historic lows in terms of what we borrow money for.
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people looked at this, larry lindsay suggested if we go back to approaching historic levels, the 900% goes through the roof. it's already high, but it's an unbelievable level, just totally unsustainable if you get close to the levels historically. on the other hand, germany, the german banks bail out greece. there's no germany out there waiting to bail us out. we would have to face up to the problems in an entirely different way. >> one thing to add to what mike said. in some sense we're benefiting from the chaos in the rest of the world because there's a flight to safety. put your money in u.s. treasuries, and that's part of keeping our interest rates artificially low, and as mike said, at some point, you hit the wall, you fall off the cliff, whatever metaphor you want to use, and then we're in even deeper trouble, and this brings us back to the message that we both had -- the problem is
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spending. >> i'm a lawyer -- well, retired, somewhat cynical, and i think the judges on the supreme court on both sides are really not much more than puppets. can you talk about justice kennedy and suppose the people vote to say it's unconstitutional and all the democratic appointed judges say, well -- i guess one republican judges -- well, that it is constitutional. what will kennedy do? what did he do in the marijuana case in california? >> kennedy, you're talking, of course, about the individual mandate aspect of the obamacare litigation and the conventional wisdom that kennedy 1 the swing vote. others point to scalia with the marijuana case, but, of course, that was scalia's drug war exception to the constitution and there's been writings sense
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and before making him a safe bet, but kennedy also. he had a concurrence years ago in this case in interpreting the proper klaus not involving the use of the commerce clause and said were a case to come up to interpret the necessary and proper clause context, there has to be heightened scrutiny. that's hartening. he wrote last term in the bond case talking about how federalism is there not just as a vindication of what james madison learned at princeton or apply the political theory or whatnot, but ultimately there to support and protect individual liberty, federalism, all the structural provisions there. writings in lopez, all the big presidential cases that he's been on lead me to be optimistic about him so without any spin, i say it's more likely than not
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that supreme court 5-4 vote strikes down the individual mandate. what they take with that is 5 greater question, the so-called severability issue. can it be severed from the rest of the legislation or from parts of it? the government, itself, has conceited to its credit, but it couldn't do otherwise, that the community rating and guaranteed issue provisions requiring ensurers to cover people regardless of preexisting conditions and accepting premiums not based on individual risk, but on a complicated community based formula, that's tied to the individual mandate. the decision is between that and the whole thing. we filed a brief not taking a position on the whole thing, but says that clearly title i, which is the individual market and title ii, which is medicaid, are completely tied together, and that's the basis of the whole national reform. i think that paul and mike harvard and their respective briefs on severability made a
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devastating case why nothing would have passed without it. as i said in my remarks, it's not like they were going to separately pass medicare, waste, and fraud reform and the indoor tanning services tax and indian reservation tax reform. that was a big package, but we'll see what's done there. i think roberts could be the swing vote on severability. >> i'll follow-up with a brief comment for the panelists, and this is based on what you were saying about the massive liquidity injections that facility the bubble economy that we have. choice and currency and followed up by denationalization of money. what do you think about that idea of having a more free market and money and, you know, what -- how that would be helpful or harmful? >> well, i think ultimately, we need to have a wider choice in money. ultimately, having some variety,
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having some choices, not dependent on the federal reserve is incredibly important. i think our economy would be more stable, avoid the asset bubble booms and bust, and in the long term we'd have a more stable economy with different choices in money. >> we have had in u.s. history and history of other countries examples of free banks, competitive currency issues. they work well until government shut them down because if they have a monopoly on the issue of money and monopoly on monetary policy, it makes it easier for them to finance their activities. ..
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the result is that federal spending will go up this year. so, the republicans have ensured a great deal of courage. you can look on the campaign trail and i don't recall if mitt romney or new gingrich specifying a single different
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program they would eliminate. as far as i know they came out for the sugar quotas and ethanol subsidies so it of a great deal of faith -- >> this is after the iowa caucus. >> i will add one thing to that. mitch daniels was first director or second? i think first. that is when we got no bureaucrat left behind and the medicare prescription drug plan was concocted. there are a handful of republicans like this around the country for good on controlling the government spending but i don't know that i would put mitch daniels in that category. >> on issues like housing your starting to see mitt romney backtracked and nevada saying into the market find the bottom now going to florida and is a little behind he seems to think housing is a different perspective on that. as i mentioned ron paul forced
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the other candidates to talk about the federal reserve. again, part of the issue is its search to see the typical american probably doesn't understand what the federal reserve although the financial crisis and the bailout certainly put on the radar screen in a way that wasn't there before. the stuff i work with on the banking the costs are hidden. anybody with basic economic standing by for six years ago could have said freddie and fannie were huge contingent liability the will that cost you and it's a cbs credit they said that and it's never scored in the budget and you can always look like you are giving away free be i think it's difficult for politicians and the republicans to make the argument and the costs of a door hidden. they are a little more explicit now. but certainly i would say to some extent the fight and the republican primary is about what are we going to be honest about the direction the country is going or are we going to try to find somebody you think is going to knock off obama. i think that debate is
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happening. how it's going to come out certainly i'm not optimistic about. >> of the labor regulations have been a huge issue. this is something the republicans haven't been bad all natural lehigh and in the homestead about whether to pass right-to-work legislation to preclude union mandatory union power and one of the things that's been overlooked somewhat in the debate over the recess appointments with richard kortright and c efp b and dodd-frank is that obama also made three, the same quote on quote recess appointments to the national labor relations board and this is of course the organization that extorted from boeing a promise to build the plant in washington so it would drop its case against them in south carolina for building the green line there. we have just vast industrial policy going on understandably
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given the overwhelming union support to the democrats and obama in particular and 08 and coming up in this cycle so that something that republicans have been pretty decently hitting on and this would be a prime opportunity for someone like mitch daniels coming from indiana to raise that. >> yes, in the back. >> the unfunded liabilities are $120 trillion. the unfunded liability includes federal pensions which the dallas federal reserve said may 25th, 2009 federal pensions unfunded liabilities is 99 trillion by itself. now you get social security, medicare, and then i say to myself the country isn't ready to give up anything. and i look at this on a personal basis i say what about me?
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i say i'm 75 years of age, they paid me three times what i have paid into social security, and they also give me $25,000 more a year than i pay in federal taxes i can be means tested. when i say that to my peers i get one or 2% and the rest went to throw rocks at me we've to say we are in this together and until we get leadership that says we must sacrifice it just will not be done to example it is starting to work david cameron says we are all in this together the u.k.. the irish prime minister says no group, no sector camano individual would be scared from the sacrifice even the minimum wage would be reduced one euro. everybody pay something. everybody gives up something. what do you think of these
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ideas? >> eddy reza couple of important issues one is the actual indebtedness nor was it and putting the money with fannie and freddie in the future both of which would add to that $120 trillion that would be in that. as the man gets a special category. the historian. [laughter] -- of the 120 trillion is the optimistic scenario that is giving. the second is in terms you mention the benefits for the wealthy. it amazes me that the president continues to call on raising taxes on the wealthy which they will have a deleterious effect on the economy but is unwilling to cut benefits for the wealthy. we are not just talking medicare and social security but the wealthy qualified for unemployment benefits others qualify for all sorts of things that the government benefits. if we are going to extract
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fairness it is maybe warren buffett might not need the social security as much as the secretary and we could make some times there. but the big problem is there isn't enough rich people to go around. in the end, there is not enough money you can get from them when they show that sly and what you are going to have to do is reduce spending across the board. >> let me add one thing to that because i agree there aren't enough people to make the means testing work but it's a second-best solution even if there were enough people because what is means testing? it is an implicit tax rate on people who save an investor in their working lives because that is how you get it up there by the means testing when you are retired. it would be much better to do the types of reforms that were in the rye and budget many of which came from the good work on medicare and medicaid. that is the way they deal with these problems without putting these implicit tax rates. >> unfortunately we do have to wrap up. our speakers listed above for
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questions afterwards. thank you for coming and please join me in thanking our speakers. [applause] [inaudible conversations] defended the agency decision to
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allow protesters to camp in mcpherson square in washington, d.c.. adding however that the service would soon enforce the no camping rule. in a recent letter to the park service, the mayor of the district of columbia requested the square be cleared out deutsch health and safety concerns. this hearing is a little more than two hours. this is a hearing mcpherson square who made the decision to allow indefinite camping in the park the committee will come to order i will recognize myself for opening statement and yelled to the chairman of the full committee the gentleman from california mr. issa. i ask the consent statement
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prepared by the individuals or groups of individuals currently residing in the mcpherson square as part of the occupied d.c. be placed into the record in its entirety. >> without objection. thank you, you back. >> among the pillars that undergird the grand republic at least those that are with this morning, number one, freedom of speech and expression and number two, our respectful will fall the two principles are entirely consistent and indeed they have to be consistent. they can and they do coexist. so, the merits or demerits of the occupied movement at least i'm not to i'm here to try to glean what process if any the national park service goes through in determining what to allow a residential encampment among the homes and offices in a busy area and downtown d.c. especially where camping is
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strictly prohibited. and it is impossible to explore the role of the national park service with bald also hearing with the leaders in colombia. i suspect the witnesses from the district of columbia will testify as has been publicly reported with respect to any adverse consequences associated with this encampment. we have all read without rage and shock about an infant abandoned in a tent on one of the coldest days of the year. the mayor wrote the park service on generate wealth to warn them of dangerous road in vince station, the risk of the foodborne illness and other potentially deleterious if not that we concerns such as hyperthermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. the district of columbia and its leaders are in a completely untenable position. it is their response of the body to protect the health and safety of its residents including those residents in mcpherson square. however, they do not have the authority to make the decision on whether or not to allow the camp to exist. the federal government owns the
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land and governance its use during responsibility for the health and safety of those in the park. the department of interior has taken responsibility for the decision to allow the indefinite overnight camping at mcpherson square, and the process by which they reached this decision is at best curious and legally fragile. so many of us look forward to today's hearing because we were under the apparent misapprehension that camping was legal in mcpherson square and we look forward to hearing the national park service explain the difference between camping in a 24 hour vigil especially when that 24 hour vigil last several months. the evidence is clear at least in my judgment sleeping, camping and cooking are taking place in mcpherson square despite protests to the country and apparently despite the prohibition against camping. so to sum it up on issues of public safety for the protesters and others is important. issues of free speech or important issues of cost and who bears the cost or important.
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it is manifestly unfair that the district of columbia assume the costs and liability for the decisions made by the national park service. but at the bottom of it all, the issue of fair and equal application of the law because from this vantage point, it appears there are at least two very different set of rules and with a spring and summer a short distance away, i find it curious tourists cannot come and pitch a tent in mcpherson square if they are camping for fund if they are camping and protest of the fund the national park service would welcome them. with that i would recognize the gentleman from illinois, the ranking member mr. davis. >> thank you mr. j mahon. the first amendment of the u.s. constitution reads, and i quote, congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of people peaceably to assemble and
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to petition the government for the redress of grievances. of course the right to protest is not an restricted. the supreme court has determined that certain limitations can be imposed despite the delicate balance between order and the right to be heard. in a public forum the government may restrict expression with time, place and manner regulations. however, restrictions cannot be based on the content of the speech and the regulation must not be substantially broad than necessary to achieve the government interest. the history of the dissent is a long and productive one. from the abolitionist to the labour movement of the early 20th century. to the women's suffrage to the civil rights marches and peach peace protests our country has become a more inclusive and
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enlightened nation because people spoke truth to power. they met the persistence but preserved. are nothing new. the students that maintain their seat at the north carolina lunch counter and might of a movement to challenge in justice and helped change america i interest and that to be part of civil disobedience. but i encourage those to seek government redress to operate in a peaceful manner and the u.s. park police measured approach to the d.c. occupiers. we have not seen the disarray that has been broadcast across our television sets from other cities. the federal agencies overseeing the lands and parks have a specific role in ensuring that the first amendment rights or
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respected and protected. the district of columbia as the protest site is a particular set against and importance. the district has a history of posting some of the most significant protests activities of the modern era. accordingly, in 2011 there are over 600 first amendment activities on our national park lands. i find it curious that this particular demonstration has risen to the levels of congressional hearing. the occupied d.c. movement has not encountered widespread arrests and in a concentrated area. the district receives funds for the reimbursement annually for such activities. further, the discretion allowed the park service allows for the reasonable approach of compliance. then enforcement. i believe going forward the
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occupied d.c. movement should continue to be closely monitored to ensure proper safety, health and sanitation. interaction and cooperation of the various agencies to monitor the site should be encouraged. however, this protest in its current form does not rise to the level necessary of congressional intervention. this subcommittee should refer to the discretion of the national park service and air on the side of the first amendment. i would like to yield just a minute to myself to read a portion of the statement from the occupied d.c. general assembly submitted to the staff. like so many whose voices are not heard in the halls of congress, we've been precluded from speaking today on a matter that directly concerns us. that we have to ask a member of congress to speak for us here.
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it's symbolic of the disenfranchisement and a top-down nature of the government that we are fighting to democratize. citizens of the free country should not have to ask for permission to occupy public space. our occupation of the mcpherson square is an expression of the first amendment right to free speech and peaceable assembly. we are maintaining a site of protest, a physical presence that gives visibility and voice. we are creating a space in which will lead the free speech of occupiers, but that of the general public, the end in power and the disenfranchised. like most people c'mon the members of the victors and square do not relish being an uncomfortable condition that humans without housing have endured for the millennia. we do so because it has become a
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necessary tactic to express our concern for the country's traction in a way that will maintain public attention. two out of every three americans incidentally agree that our country is headed in the wrong direction. a far smaller percentage approves of the jobs the congress is doing and while the foreclosure has become a hallmark of modern america, the solution to the country's numerous problems do not include suppressing the free speech in detecting the patriots. the existence of the committee give politicians controlling the city none of them were elected though mcpherson square happens to have been declared federal land. they forced to the congressional control it is the height of hypocrisy for the nation that considers itself the global democracy. mr. chairman, i think you for
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the opportunity and yelled back the balance of our time. >> the chair will now recognize the gentleman from california of the full committee mr. fisa. >> thank you mr. chairman. if this were about protests today, we wouldn't be having this hearing. i was here on may 4th, have to get my millennia right. i was here may 4th, 1971, the first anniversary of the killings at kent state in which the mall was still with protestors from antiwar protestors and protesters over the campus disruptions and the early dismissal of universities throughout the country as a result of their law abiding protest. the fact is we are all here protecting and promoting the idea that the d.c. is and will continue to be a place for the protests to occur. if anything i believe that we have facilitated like no other
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city in the united states and i want to continue to do so. mr. chairman, let me just give you a fairly straightforward number. it's roughly 208 feet. the size of the square makes it one of the smallest parts of the park service overseas. if we are to say that anyplace here in the district or around the country for a protest can become a campground simply because someone is protesting that as we hear from mr. jarvis and others we are basically going to have to figure of a way to put showers and restaurants and other century requirements and parks that may be an acre or two. we are going to have to station park rangers to do their jobs because of all of those who would choose to camp can be trusted the way this has worked out. we have challenges we have to face but the real reason that we are at the park service to be is
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to find out why the district of columbia and it doesn't under which tautological protest is breaking all of its own rules, citing some first amendment's but if you cited yet formally would change the whole dimension of where people get to go to national parks. plenty of national parks take everyone out if necessary at gunpoint they are no longer welcome in the park, the operations are done to dusk in some other time. there are other areas it can or can't be in various federal lands. that is not what we are debating here. we are debating the uniform use of the designation of campground verses malt campground and more importantly we will hear from two distinguished members of the district of columbia. we are dealing with the fact the district of columbia is bearing the brunt of the lack of uniformity, lack of enforcement even when there is a supreme
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court decision that makes it very clear the campers shouldn't be there. protesters during the hours of operation actually protesters 24 hours a day they want to come with candles and stand that's fine. freedom is not an absence of uniform rules. yesterday there was the national right to life protests in the city. they came committee protested and they left. if they chosen to stay it would have been expected to get hotel rooms or some other lawful way find accommodations. we are going to hear from the city but this is doing to them. this is all of the land whether it was for the left or the right. how would we deal with it, what we have to front the city would would be the sanitary requirements and the light. ultimately would simply become a protest the therefore i can stay anywhere i want? mr. chairman, i ask to have the
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occupied d.c. statement put in the record and i appreciate you did so with the opening. i want them to be heard but candidly i want to hold our government agencies, federal government agencies to respect a uniform set of rules and not choose which first amendment advocates to choose. we will hear that this is merely trying to balance. supreme court has already spoken on the balance is. the decree your ability and requirement to prohibit overnight camping according to their own rules and they are not doing a. entered into an ideological for a by making this decision on behalf of the administration when in fact the decision could have been very clear. stay awake, state vertical, don't be camping here and you are welcome to stay and have an act of protest as long as you want.
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when you need to sleep, go elsewhere and come back. when you need to hear a restroom facilities and showers and other requirements that are not actively available in this very, very small 1.6 acres, go elsewhere and come back. that's the message we should have sent coming and as the committee has the support of debate responsibility to protect the rights, privileges and candidly obligations that we put on the district of columbia we must first and foremost remember this is the district of columbia's burden being borne by the lack of uniformity. if we will find the rules for the future then we put the district of columbia in an untenable position that while welcoming the jet and protest the find themselves unable to predict who will sleep where and what they will or won't be a will to do with it. mr. chairman, this is a narrow hearing. i appreciate your call leggitt. the issue is important. all be at very much what
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previously said we as a committee to make sure is fair and right for the district of columbia and i appreciate your indulgence and yelled back. >> fisher would now recognize the ranking member of the full committee mr. cummings. >> thank you very much. the ranking member davis for holding today's hearing but an opportunity to speak on behalf of the millions of americans who are demanding justice and fairness for both of their government elements of the private sector. i find it baffling we are not asking to convene this morning's hearing to debate among americans to use their public parks as a venue in which express the first amendment rights, a practice that is as old as the fundamental democracy as the constitution which guarantees the right of a semblance. even more alarming is the majority his fast-track today's
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hearing while repeatedly ignoring and dragging their feet on the request to fully investigate mortgage servicers alleged abuses against american families. given the extent of the foreclosure crisis and the hornet has caused so many homeowners across the nation i am deeply concerned about the committee's failure to use this investigative power to protect american consumers while examining the numerous allegations of wrongdoing by banks. i repeatedly raised these concerns and today i sent a letter to the chairman renewing my request for the comprehensive investigation into the wrongful foreclosures and other abuses by the mortgage servicing companies. while neglecting the harm many americans are suffering of mortgage servicers, the majority has left to investigate whether the banks have been the victims of abuse from american citizens. the majority sent letters to the banks requesting information
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that supports the highly improbable allegation that the representatives occupy attempted to extort major banks with the alleged conduct. today i want to welcome our witnesses and thank you for coming before us today. the district of columbia is no longer no stranger to the host of challenges and benefits have come being home of the national government in the world's oldest democracy. given the constant stream of the demonstration, special events, marches and petitions for the redress grievances. i recognize that balancing the right of our fellow citizens to assemble peacefully while protecting the health, safety and property of the residents have visited there is no easy task. therefore, i applaud both the
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government and the myriad of federal agencies that work collectively and routinely to balance these interests. but folks are hurting and struggling as many americans presently are. it's all the more critical that they be able to raise the voices and the demand for change. the recent occupy movement that has emerged in the cities and communities across the great nation represent the people's demand for progress. people want jobs. they want better treatment. they want adequate housing coming and more importantly, they want action. and they have the constitutional right to make their voices heard. while practical consideration is associated with the prolonged d.c. protesters at mcpherson square must certainly be addressed. concerns over should not be a grass-roots efforts to seek improvements and held our most
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vulnerable citizens nor should they be allowed to stand in the way of the demand for the real reform. especially when there are easy ways to rectify such problems and limited courts. a little over a week ago in our country came together to celebrate the life and legacy of legendary reverend dr. martin luther king jr.. he said frequent opportunity and equal rights for all. dr. king exemplified how peaceful exercise our rights enshrined in the constitution can truly change the world. reverence for these rights must remain at the heart of all that we are as a nation. again i want to thank each of our witnesses for coming before us today and i especially want to express my sympathy to you, director, for your agency's recent loss in a moderate washington. it is a reminder that our federal public servants were in
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fact exposed to significant risk while performing their daily duties. i yield back. >> a thank. we have weld and our distinguished panel of witnesses. the deputy mayor for the public safety justice for the district of columbia. the chief of the metropolitan police department, dr. is the director of the d.c. department of health. mr. ten of the is the cable research professor of law at the national park service we will hear your opening statements and start with you and go from my left to right, you're left to right. the lights me with a traditionally need to be and green means go, yellow means speed up, go as fast as you can and red means stop. pursuant to the committee rules we will square the witnesses i
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would ask that you rise and lift your life hands. do you some lonely swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? made the record reflect all witnesses answered in the affirmative. we will now recognize you for your opening statement. >> good morning and members of the committee on oversight and government reform. thank you for the opportunity to present testimony and observation on issues surrounding occupy the freedom plaza and mcpherson square. my name is paul and i serve as the deputy mayor for public safety and justice in the district of columbia. i am joined today with kathy of the metropolitan police department and dr. mohammed, the director of the department of health. on october 6th, 2011, the
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national park service granted permission to allow two very distinct occupied d.c. groups to establish sites on the federal property for the purpose of protesting a variety of issues. these sites and demonstrations would continue to be located at the freedom plaza 14th and pennsylvania avenue nw southeast of the white house and mcpherson square, two blocks northwest of the white house at 15th and k street, nw washington. during the first week of the occupied movement there were approximately 150 protestors of the freedom plaza, and 250 of mcpherson square. since thanksgiving, the number of occupants have fluctuated with the freedom plaza group numbering approximately 30 to 40 for his pence and the like shearson contingent numbering about 25 to 50 participants. initially, a significant number of the metropolitan police officers were deployed to address occupied d.c. including the metropolitan police
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department special operations division as well as a civil disturbance unit which is staffed by the patrol members. after the first week, however, was able to decrease the resources used for the occupied d.c. except for major movements or incidents. in the ensuing weeks of the encampment there were approximately four occasions which require the metropolitan police department to detail more than one or two officers per country district per shift for the units. the convention center on november 4th the march on the key bridge on november 17th, the case street protest on december 7th and the occupied congress march on last week on january 17th. npv staffing for those incidents have ranged from 80 to 400 officers. for the most part, protests and the and occupancy have been peaceful.
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they are the usual talking and insulting of police which is common however on a few occasions the tactics of the protestors have become aggressive and dangerous resulting in injuries and situations where law-abiding citizens were unable to exit buildings or travel on our public roadways. for instance, on the one incident at the convention center blocking entrances and exits to the convention center using children as tools as impediments as well as physically challenging the attendees of the events as housing the political views. these are all unacceptable tactics and potentially jerry harmful. blocking traffic and jumping in front of vehicles is especially dangerous. for their more incidents of the destruction of property. more worrisome is that the incidence of violence that bankers and square such as the attack on the police officer and later an occupant of the encampment both of which result in hospitalization. most recently, we had been neglected for 14 month old child
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barely clothed left unattended by her father. as a general 19th the metropolitan police department has arrested 68 individuals affiliated with the occupied protest and an additional 13 protesters were arrested by another district police force on the ground. there's another arrest by federal law enforcement officers. while the numbers of protesters has dwindled it does not alleviate the potential for the escalating protests tactics. the point of any protest is to exercise the constitutional right into the same time attract attention to the cause. if the numbers do not demand notice come experience has shown that escalating tactics may be used to garner attention to the district is a continuing obligation to provide overall health and welfare of its residents and visitors to the city to several district of columbia agencies are working to ensure the well-being of the protestors and ss and mitigate the impact of the presence of the community. although there have not been any public health emergencies such
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as outbreaks of communicable diseases or reported foodborne illnesses we will remain vigilant and monitor and protect the health and safety of the demonstrators. the department of health has led an effort to address many of the issues. i just need to point out certain areas that we are concentrating on. hypothermia remains a serious condition. a date and is a major factor. food safety, prescription medications and physical health screening is something that we are encouraged the protestors to participate in and we need to be cognizant of the emergency evacuation plans for when the makeshift utensils and heating apparatus is are used there's a potential for harm and danger. with this mr. chairman, i conclude my testimony and look forward to answering any questions the committee may have. thank you. >> thank you pittard i've been informed but want to verify that five district of columbia representatives will have an
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opening statement with the leader. >> one opening statement and we will be available to answer and respond to any questions. >> fantastic. i didn't want to skip over anybody. i will now go to the professor. >> thank you mr. terminable the we are focused here on a particular public place i think this is an important national issue there's been occupy movements as you know across the country. this is a protest that is unique, a demonstration that is unique and raises some of the same concerns that the citizens and parades' and marches do but it's different in an important respect and that is this, the movement seeks permanence of place, it seeks to occupy or commandeered as part of its first amendment message putative important to keep that in mind as you consider the first amendment implications of possibly ejecting them.
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it's not simply as the chairman said an opportunity to be heard, it's also an opportunity to be seen. those are the things protected under the first amendment. the place that's been occupied and is demonstrated in this particular instance is a special place. it is a public forum which under the first amendment means if the supreme court has said time people have gathered there for assembly and speech and petitions to discuss matters of public concern, and in particular in the district of columbia given the government these places have been created by the d.c. circuit in other courts special forms for protest activity. that said, and some committee members have already suggested protest rights and public places are not absolute. that is true. the agency that is charged with managing the property has two
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main responsibilities. the first which i think is just delete could discharge quite well in light of its history in the courts, and i can speak to that may be in questions rather than my statement is to make sure first amendment rights are fully preserved and robustly protected. it has done that in this particular case through a process of negotiated management rather than force for the fiction. in my mind that is a plausible choice to make and worthy. i am in the position here of a actually defending an agency for potentially over protecting speech. it's a rather odd position for me because normally i'm critical of the government for restricting first amendment rights and first places. so in terms of that particular trustee obligation to protect the rights of people to assemble competition and speak in public places the agency as i said it has discharged its responsibilities and obligations quite well. i know the committee is
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concerned about the balance of those particular fundamental liberties with the interest of the public in safety and health and order in those sorts of concerns to it i can say having looked at the regulations that the agency is in compliance with most of them i can't speak in particular to the camping one because that depends on facts on the ground and the totality of circumstances determination by the agency. but no permit is required for a demonstration of this size. there are no explicit time limits and the regulations of the protests. some structures are permitted, some as i anderson and have been removed. on the action of the agency and local officials. so in large part the agencies have been in compliance with its own regulations. understand the concern that the agency not be permitted to confirm some speakers over the others and i want to be clear
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about what that obligation is under the first amendment. it is not inappropriate necessarily to prefer fundamental liberties to other uses of the property. what would be inappropriate to prefer some speakers over others based upon a their viewpoint or the content of their message. i'm not aware of any instance in which the agency has not permitted a group to occupy a place in this fashion to demonstrate in this way, but permitted this particular demonstration to go forward so it's not clear to me the agency has done anything in violation of that principal of content neutrality. in my view it can prefer that other use to public property. there are concerns i think about allowing people to occupy and demonstrate in this fashion and what will do and the chairman raised that particular issue and i would allow that to take place
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does not mean that you cannot enforce the reasonable time place and manner of regulation and putting on the time and location of public demonstrations. but again in mcpherson square the regulations permit an assembly of the sort from a demonstration of this sort. i would be happy to answer questions. >> thank you triet mr. jarvis. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the national park service handling of the occupied demonstrations at mcpherson square. this hearing takes place in the district of columbia. the capitol of the nation and the federal government. it is here perhaps more than any other place in the united states americans come to exercise their first amendment rights to peacefully assemble to petition their government for redress of grievances and to exercise their right of freedom of speech.
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all three injured 97 of america's national parks but especially the national parks in washington, d.c. are places where citizens' rights are guaranteed under the nation's constitution. among the law enforcement agencies in the nation, the national park service and its urban law enforcement organization the united states park release have perhaps the greatest experience handling first amendment activities. in 2011 alone there were 626 permitted first amendment activities on land here in washington, d.c.. not all first amendment activities require a permit their fourth these numbers are only a portion of those taking place in the capitol city. a few examples of the historic large scale first amendment demonstrations here include the in your right to life march, the million man march, promise keepers' and the world bank international monetary fund protests. some of these have changed or nation such as when dr. martin luther king jr. civil rights march took place on the national
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mall. though many of the first amendment demonstrations are short term, some are longer-term vigils. in 1979, 6,000 family farmers drove their tractors to washington, d.c. to protest american farm policy. they were on the mall for seven weeks. a month after dr. king's was as a nation, thousands of demonstrators set up a shantytown known as resurrection city for the month and vigil here in washington. in 1985, the vietnam veterans visual groups began to demonstrate on behalf of servicemen and service women. rolling thunder continues that 24 hour vigil to this day. the success of the national park service and police in managing these demonstrations mr. merkley attributed to our reasoned and measured and progressive response. the impious handling of the first amendment activities begins with the lowest level of
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enforcement then increases with the situation warrants. this strategy ensures the health and safety of the demonstrators as well as d.c. residents and visitors. courts recognize this kind of reason and measured technique of law enforcement helps minimize the potential for the disorder. the courts also afforded a great deal of discretion to enforce rules and regulations in the manner that best fits the situation. in the case of the mcpherson square demonstration, the personnel concluded that the activities were protected by the first amendment and that there were less than 500 demonstrators there for in accordance to the regulations no permit is required to read the regulations do not allow for camping within mcpherson square however temporary structures including tents are permissible as a part of a demonstration and a 24-hour a round-the-clock vigil is also allowed free from the outset we've been working with the district of columbia including the metropolitan police department, the department of
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health, fire and ems to ensure the demonstrators at mcpherson, the demonstrations were conducted in a safe and lawful manner. just this week we conducted a joint health inspection with the department of health. u.s. park police have tall times and a law enforcement presence and petrol at mcpherson square to protect health and safety of visitors and the demonstrators and have taken action when necessary. the nds has employed a recent measure in the incremental approach to aetna's regulatory violations that to minimize the threat to public safety while protecting first amendment activities. this process has involved an evolution from the outreach and education to the formal notices of the rules that govern the use of the square. i want to be clear that we take seriously rather than from the district concerns constantly monitoring and evaluating the conditions in the square. understand this demonstration has been detected some district of columbia businesses and visitors alike and i appreciate their efforts to tolerate this
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activity. it is important to note that absent an emergency or threat to public or health safety, and demonstrators of mcpherson square must be allowed to continue their vigil in accordance with existing regulations and was published to usual interpretations of the first amendment rights. as long as the demonstration continues, however, the nds will take enforcement approach that seeks to protect public health and safety while respecting the first amendment rights. this concludes my steegmans and reopen to questions. the chair would recognize himself for questions at this point. mr. jarvis, one reason i like law enforcement like the chief and the of the men and women who are in uniform today and everywhere else across the country is because there really aren't protesters that are republican or democrat in their judgment. there aren't laws that are republican or democrat. there aren't crime dictums the republican or democrat. it's just of the law. what i am trying to clean is what is the law because whatever you say with respect to
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mcpherson square is going to have to be applicable everywhere else in this country. so the notion that you think washington may have special first amendment privileges it does not. there are no more first amendment rights in this town than there are in city town in this country. so defined camping for me because you say it's prohibited. tell me what it is. >> yes, sir i agree with you that the first amendment applies everywhere in the united states. it's just in the district of columbia we have more experience with it because we have more protests and first amendment activities in the district than any other place in the country and the u.s. park police, the national park service that managed the national mall handle hundreds of these kind of defense and we take exactly the same approach every time and that is a measured and reasoned response. what is unique about the mcpherson occupy group is that
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they are disorganized. there is no leader that we can go to and negotiate our expectations of their compliance >> i hate to cut you off i've got five minutes. i need a definition of camping because i need to go back to south carolina and tell everyone who wants to spend the summer in one of our parks would camping is and what it is not so define camping for me juxtaposed a 24 hour vigil because you seem inclined to draw the distinction and i can't draw the distinction. what is the definition of camping? >> the distinction is for a 24 hour vigil is that they are awake tall times providing information or science or whatever associated with their first amendment activities. camping is defined as sleeping or preparing to sleep at the site.
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is there sleeping going on in mcpherson square? >> we do believe there is. >> is there preparing to sleep or are they all insomniacs? >> i believe there are some preparing to sleep. specs the war on drawing a separate first amendment role for insomniacs versus narcoleptic? >> william stating is that we do believe that there is some camping going on at mcpherson square associated with their vigil. >> how much investigation have you done in to that? >> we are as i indicated taking a measured and reasoned approach to this. >> i'm just an old country prosecutor. measured in degrees and doesn't mean anything to me. what means something to me is can you define camping because you strictly prohibited. you said it's going on and that's fine. if you want to change the rules that's fine but just let me tell my constituents who want to visit this summer that they can come to any part they want and they can bring their tent as
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long as they say they are protesting. can i tell them that? >> they can bring it tend absolutely. >> and they can stay and sleep? >> know they cannot. >> is there sleeping going on in mcpherson square? you said there is. what's the difference? >> what i said and will continue to say is the protesters, the demonstrators exercising their first amendment rights have the rights to be in mcpherson square 24 hours a day. >> so you view them as a unit as long as one of them is awake and that gives a constitutional cover for the rest to sleep; is that the new analysis? >> no, i did not say that. what i said is that they as a group have the right to be there on a 24 hour vigil. the camping regulation is an individual violation not a group violation. >> how many people have been cited for violations? >> at this point, none. >> you told me people were sleeping.
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>> we are in the process of gaining compliance with the occupiers through a series of ramping up enforcement at the site to gain compliance. that is the approach we've used in the first amendment activities in this town for decades and it's been quite successful. >> how long has gaining compliance been going on? when did the movement start in d.c.? >> this particular movement began in october. october, november, december, 90 days coming up on 100 days; is that right? how long do you think that will take to gain compliance? >> i hope that we can gain complete compliance soon. >> no citations for sleeping? we've issued a lot of other citations but not particularly for camping. >> is that of the linchpin of the definition of camping, sleeping? >> sleeping, yes it is one of the definitions, sleeping or preparing to sleep to the
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estimate to prove your ideological neutrality, if the chamber of commerce or the national federation of independent businesses or anyone associated with the other side wants to come to mcpherson square this afternoon with a tent as long as one person remains vertical they can stay? >> i am ideologically neutral on this. i could care less what the cause is. my jaw as a 35 year veteran of the national park service is to protect the individual rights under the first amendment. when each protest -- >> we the second. to protect their rights under the first amendment. is it not also your job to enforce wall? >> absolutely it is my job. >> is it against the wall to camp? >> they have suffered as a great deal of enforcement and to in order to protect the amendment that is what we -- >> do you agree the supreme court said the sleeping and camping can be prohibited? >> yes, they can the the same
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time they gave the discretion on how and when we implement that tv dhaka making sure anyone who wants to can throw the united states as long as they say they are in protest of something can do whatever they want in federal court. with the will recognize the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. >> thank you mr. chairman and i too want to thank our witnesses for their testimony and for being here the courts traditionally have held the right of government to manage and supervise public property as long as there is a rational basis for the rules and no point of view is being discriminated against. but the name occupy suggests a constant presence and commitment not to move in the face of the perceived injustice. the doctor, let me ask you. do to the length of the vigil, they are having special concerns
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about health and safety. >> congressmen coming yes, sir. we've been concerned actually the most about health and safety from the very beginning and we've been working with the district of columbia to put in place the systems for instance the national park service increased the trash collection at mcpherson to three times a day so there wouldn't be an accumulation of attraction or destruction at the site. >> in your office did work with the park police on an ongoing basis? >> absolutely, yes, sir. >> how would you characterize the response of the occupied d.c. protesters to whatever concerns might have been expressed to them? >> initially because there is no
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one of leader we can go to and discuss specifically with them our concerns for health and safety, cleanliness at the site and other concerns, and initially they were antagonistic to our presence at the site that has significantly changed for the great work of the park release and our staff within the national mall we have developed a report the site. we've gained a great deal of compliance. they notify us when there are concerns particularly with law enforcement. so i believe we have made great inroads. >> so you would say they have basically been cooperative after the initial resistance? >> yes, sir. are there any benefits to the occupied d.c. protesters to maintaining vigils in a few locations is it best that they be concentrated on or have the
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ability to move from one perhaps location or one spot to another? >> it is an advantage from a law enforcement standpoint that they are concentrated in one area. that allows us to work directly with the metro police department to provide around the clock will enforcement services of the site rather than being spread across a very large area as well as the impact to the grass has already happened and moving to another site which has resulted in the new impact to one of our other first amendment sites. >> you mentioned your 35 years of service with the park service, and obviously you have seen many permits, you've seen many protests, many demonstrations. have you seen any that have raised the level of concern that
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occupied d.c. seems to be raising to the point of a congressional hearing? >> this is the first congressional hearing and testified. >> thank you very much. i yield back. ..
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>> it says, i don't have my glasses that campaign is defined as the use of park land for living accommodation purposes such as sleeping activities or making preparations to sleep including the laying down of
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bidding for the purpose of sleeping or storing personal belongings or making any fire or using tens or shelter or other structural vehicle for sleeping or doing any digging or earth breaking. based on your own definition of camping, are they camping at macpherson park? >> we believe there are individuals there that are doing those activities as a result yes. >> why have they not been removed? why has your on statute not been enforced? finicky to our first amendment demonstrations they are a little bit unique and in this one it is unprecedented in part of this one that it has been stated that the core of their first amendment activity is that they occupy the site so as we have
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approached this how we try to manage this activity and provide our first call with the national park service to allow and provide for first amendment activity is the health and safety of the community and the demonstrators themselves. we felt going and right away and enforcing the regulations were -- for against camping could potentially insight a reaction on their part that would result in possible injury or property damage. >> i appreciate the candor and you have knowledge to they are camping you have a knowledge there are individuals in macpherson park for breaking the law and they have been there since october. so it is not like three or
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four months later that to you have been too quick to enforce the law. they have been there for months we are not even yet getting into the other issues that the city has to do with. again come but nobody up here i don't think anybody in the hearing room questions at all their right to protest. that is not with this hearing is about. you're not enforcing your own statute. who is telling you? i know this is not you who was telling you not to enforce the statute? it is nine yeardly -- job to determine which protest group how to treat them differently. they are breaking the law wyden you enforce that law? of four months? >> all decisions related to the way this reticular protest has been handled has
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been made on the ground first and foremost, by the u.s. park police officers and commanders in terms, i served as a law-enforcement officer. they are granted a great deal of discretion what they've force and when they do it. >> my a time is running out. >> is there a political sensitivity to prevent you from enforcing the law? >> absolutely not. >> are you getting any sort of advice orders from people above you? >> i am regularly briefing the secretary of interior as would be expected with any issue but i am not a change direction on how the site should be handled. >> that will close with this because my time is running out. i had a staff member visit
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mcpherson park last night just to learn what is going on and obviously what we found out seconds your opinion that folks are sleeping, a camping, and i appreciate your candor and i don't think this is your decision. i appreciate that this city of washington d.c. is the breaking point* and i am curious as to why people above you don't let you enforce the law. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the chair will recognize the ranking member mr. cummings. >> i want to thank you all for your testimony and mr. jarvis thank you for using your discretion. as a child starting at nine years old, i a started to participate in protest to
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get some rights. i realize now what a delicate balance it can be when you have people together who are frustrated and you are very, very sensitive and you, was trying to protect the health and safety, and must be difficult at times to figure out the balance but obviously you have done a good job to deal with that. at the same time listening to the last questioner, our law enforcement people and parked people who have to carry out these very difficult tasks it is easy for us to sit appear to second-guess the people on the ground to like the chief and others but you have to
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current and do with this in a day-to-day basis and i appreciate your discretion i appreciate your understanding that something could get out of hand. i appreciate the idea is not about, everybody assumes the implications of a the moment ago that i would find very insulting is that you do your job you did your job job, using the discretion the courts have given you, the implication was somebody is telling you what to do. that is not true? you make your best judgment? >> that is correct. >> germany's the claims protesters have been allowed to damage the park significantly and there was no action until they attempted to build a wood structure. is it fair the park service
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has not done anything since the protest began? gimmickry have taken the same approach from the beginning in terms of attempting to contact to develop an understanding of the expectations and desires and intentions of the occupiers at the site. again come if they did not have a central leader most of the work has been done through observation. when -- when we did not have somebody to hand the flyers before riposted them and working to gain their voluntary compliance and expectations that the site from the very beginning. we tell them permanent structures will not be allowed and when they attempted to put up a permanent structure, we did move in and remove it and i want to commend the park police on at and we receive
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compliments from the demonstrators in the way that was handled. >> what was the significance of the attempt to build a wooden structure? what was the significance? >> i am not sure their intention but there well-informed we would not allow a permanent structures. >> why does that trigger a response? >> they would build something on this site is a national park unit and temporary structures are allowed with the first amendment in that support with their protests but not permanent structures. >> so there comes a point* where discretion end and you have to act? so i take it the wooden structure would be a clear signal that you had to do something. >> yes, sir. viewed as emasculation of their occupation of the side that we felt it was time to step in and remove that. >> no matter what group this
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might have been whether protesting right or left it would not make difference you would carry it out that way? >> absolutely. >> you said this is a unique situation. have you ever seen anything like this in your 35 years? >> we do have long term which shows on the wall. of the vietnam war vigil that takes place at the vietnam's memorial has been going on since the '80s. we have had other long-term protest such as the tractor former workers that came in for multiple weeks occupying sites on the wall. >> again thank you for your 35 years of service.
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>> the chair would recognize the gentleman from tennessee. >> mr. jarvis do feel you're doing a good job handling this matter? >> yes, sir, i do. >> do you think it is necessary that we hear today to discuss this? >> that have an opinion. >> why do you have an opinion? >> i am a big believer in a the three branches of the government i believe the executive also. >> when do suspect this problem would be reconciled? we are here today is time-consuming and it is important we are here i am not sure you think it is important when can we count on you to have the problem solved so we don't have to have meetings like this? >> we're meeting very soon i cannot give you a specific date to begin the enforcement of the camping
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regulation and we feel we have given them plenty of time to come into compliance, plenty of warning in we will give them one more warning and recognition of the notice and we will enforce a camping regulation. >> has backed away has been handled across the entry if they don't pay the fees to set up they can have 100 days to sort that out? to make each of our first amendment activities across the country are handled on the side by side door case-by-case basis. >> you think this is being handled appropriately? >> i do. >> chief lanier is this costing additional police force being prodded to handle problems? >> for the most part we're using special operations but we have had to pull over time officers from the
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patrol district so we don't have an impact in the community so there has been a cause. >> are there other people breaking laws? >> i know there has been harassed by park police and we made some arrests. >> if a citizen wanted to walk through the park and you feel it is safe? there is allegations of improper use of toilet facilities are going to the bathroom where they are not supposed to if anybody else did that around a grasslands i assume there would be arrested. >> it is prohibited. >> so that is a problem that is going on in mcpherson park? >> it is minder standing there has been some issues with that. >> is seems like everybody was doing their job we would not be here today if people our breaking the law and the problems were being resolved as it happened it would not
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take 100 days to fix the problem. >> i can empathize a little bit with the process to get compliance because you have to do that then deal with the court's. do sympathize a bit with the responses we have had to date with demonstrations in the city. >> doctor, what do you feel is a health risk not just people protesting but are there rights being infringed upon? >> i appreciate the opportunity. the health risks are real. to the protesters themselves in the people at large. i have said not only because of the sanitary conditions that exist in the park but also because people go back and forth. they don't know any boundaries people are left in the mix who have
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infectious diseases so that creates an environment that is not healthy not only for the protesters but those who are visiting or living in the city. >> you feel it is unsafe, the situation that has arisen over the last three months? >> a situation in the center of the city and all the respect to my colleagues from the federal government, i think the big issue is lack of clarity of jurisdiction. the federal government has the jurisdiction and if they are allowed to stay we better provide the facilities and services needed for them to be healthy and for the human it -- community to be healthy. >> who should pay for that? >> federally and the taxpayer. >> absolutely somebody has to pay for it if we allow them to stay. we are the united states of america. people are living in the
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conditions were they put themselves at risk and thus give the community at risk and nobody is taking full responsibility for providing services to them so it falls by default on the d.c. government to do the cleanup after the fact whereas you had the facilities on the front end. i submit to you all that we provide them the services that they need so they can be healthy not posing a risk to the public. >> the point* is there are laws being broken campaign laws, the people of violating laws about urinating on capital property. but mr. jarvis doesn't think there is a problem and he thinks he is doing a good job and maybe we would not be sitting here today everybody was doing their job. i am not of time. i yield back. >> we will
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now recognize the lady from the district of columbia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and there are legitimate questions being raised the federal government has always cooperated well with safety and health but they also go to the first amendment rights. i raise my objection that the that there is no occupier representative here. the chairman of the full committee says they need to be heard but there is no better place than at a hearing concerning their alleged actions. this would be the place. this is not a country where we talk about people and don't allow them to defend themselves now to congratulate the national park service. >> will use the old-- shield? >> i will be brief.
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>> if i can recover my time. >> of course. >> i have requests to engage in the 302nd colloquy? >> madam, the best way i can put this is this hearing from my view was intended to be what would happen with the next group of protesters now that we have set a four month precedent. although within the committee's jurisdiction if the gentlelady and the ranking member would like to have a minority day to have the other side come in to talk about why they camp did why that should be allowed in 400 protest per year should be allowed some of the world welcome to but i would hope you heard in my opening this is narrow. we're not talking about this group but the next group and the group after how we protect the district of columbia from having lots of these events. i will it -- i will yield
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back. >> i think we are aware of our rights for the minority hearing but the basis is of course, if we want to do about the next group, the best way to understand that this year from all involved with this protest. not just only law enforcement officials or the officials of the federal government. i want to think of the police, the various police departments for their approach to seek compliance and the district of columbia was to have problems then if the park police had not engaged in the kind of a ramping down to get compliance then you would have had big-time involvement of the d.c. police department. are you aware that for the
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10 years since then 11 i have been able to get an annual appropriation from the federal government that allows the district of columbia to drive down the cost of demonstrations like the occupied demonstration? >> i am aware. >> have you drawn down? >> money has been requested spirit this is not costing district of columbia funds of the money has drawn down it could be paid for as it is always paid for because this is the nation's capital and while the chairman of the subcommittee is right that there is no preference of the first amendment rights but there is the sensitivity how to enforce those rights at the seat of government. have there been residents coming forward in significant numbers to complain about the presence of occupy in our city? period there have been a
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number of residences period we have received a number of emails. >> is it not true that the district of columbia, the mayor and the city council while they have raised concerns about health and safety matters, and the mayor has asked for a change in where the occupation is taking place, that neither the mayor knows the city council of last that these demonstrators be removed from washington d.c.? >> the mayor has not made that request. >> isn't it true mts from your testimony that you're concerned, but i am sorry from the other testimony although not any public health emergencies such as outbreaks of communicable diseases or reported
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illnesses, we will remain villages and. your diligence which will be paid for by the federal government, but it in the loan testimony in december and never have been the health problems and there have been some they have not presented with major problems. would use the word escalating tactics? have you seen escalating tactics are just the opposite? an outbreak here or there but then the occupy get themselves together and then keep the matter from escalating? hasn't that been the pattern rather than escalating tactics? >> what i said in my testimony is our concern for escalating tactics as history has shows period just a moment this is a fact finding hearing isn't there the case there have not been asked -- escalating tactics? could we give the demonstrators there do that there has been cooperation
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with the police and instead of escalating tactics. >> no. >> is said that the model we would like to see when demonstrators come to the city. >> it is the model we would like to see. >> mr. chairman, the occupiers i come from a generation that tried those tactics if it has changed in the united states of america nobody must have wanted it when this city was out there it was raining cats and dogs in there was mud during the civil rights protest nobody said because of your health we will get a lot of this place. i think it is incumbent upon us to respect the different tactics of different generations and that we say this as somebody who has deep respect and represents the city in deep respect for
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the first amendment first and foremost,, it is very important to understand about the first amendment in its enforcement. when you see me protecting first amendment rights here, you understand that you are hearing it from a member who spent the first order for life as a constitutional lawyer protecting demonstrators, many of whom that i disagreed with including a case and the supreme court where i argued in favor of racist who wanted to continue their protests. of the first amendment knows no advantage. the tea party people would get to the same respect and i am confident this same kind of treatment from the federal government and the
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park service they have gotten here and through the district of columbia in its services to a year to the first amendment as well as anybody else. you are very fortunate we have been able to get you the funds so this does not cost the city one time. or over time it will be paid for and it is important the rights we have seen in those contexts and they continue to be an even greater cooperation between the park service and the district of columbia because guess what? neither one of your going anywhere and the demonstrators will continue to come. this committee expects a grown-up response as we have gotten from the mayor from the district of columbia and
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the council from the district as well as from the park service and i yield back the remainder of my time. >> thank you. of the chair will recognize the chairman of the full committee mr. i saw. >> i ask unanimous consent for three additional minutes the gentlelady took be allowed. >> without objection. >> my obligation is chairman of this committee first and foremost, for the district of columbia to make sure we do no harm to the district. not for a moment will wayside with the gentlelady and the delicate -- delegate just because we let you draw down on a payment we are not harming you. think we are. when the mayor of this city said to mr. jarvis simply at the end at a minimum the occupied d.c. site freedom
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plaza and mcpherson part must be consolidation for the rat infestation cleanup and restoration of mcpherson square. that is the district of columbia of good gentlelady represents and i am honored to have oversight. i am afraid many of you did not give an answer but doctor, is that the problem legitimately the district has a responsibility to make sure it occurs that is not occurring today? >> i am not quite sure. with the issue of jurisdiction. >> i was talking about the rats. >> >> it is impacting the residence until it is cleaned up. >> that is what we are involved in the process nobody supports more the first amendment rights of the people than i do. i take the oath twice was becoming a citizen and then
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becoming the director of health for the city. we support that. but people must be healthy to be able to stand up and we heard and seen if they relive in the raft and distaste -- invested places it is not a demonstration of their first amendment rights to make you have made your point* very clearly. i might point* out that the ranking member represents the city that handcuffed occupied baltimore protesters as did new york when they were trespassing. mr. jarvis you are the focus because you are turning a blind eye to four months of lawbreaking. you mentioned your background of law-enforcement and i appreciate there is discretion but do you have discretion to ignore overtly criminal activity, or do you have discretion to